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NAMPA -- Custodial jobs were on the chopping block at a special Nampa School District board meeting Tuesday night.

Members of the board voted to 3-to-2 to contract out the district's custodial staff.

It's just the latest effort to pull the district out of its $5 million budget deficit. Officials say they'll also consider cutting up to 50 certified staff members to save funds.

JANITORSPLEADFORJOBS

At the meeting, janitors pleaded with members of the board to save their positions, but those with the Nampa School District say they spend over $3 million on custodial staff.

There are 83 custodians that help keep the Nampa schools clean. Janitors say the cuts will hurt their families and the local economy.

I understand we need to take cuts, but I can't understand how contracting an out of state management company would be less expensive, said Diana Ward who is against the plan to contract out jobs.

However, those with the Nampa School District said this plan could help them level out their financial issues.

They also say the move would save district cash through indirect administrative costs and reduced workers compensation claims.

There is a reason that most governmental agencies and private companies contract their custodial services. It's just simply more cost effective, said Paul Kersley who works in janitorial service.

UNEMPLOYMENTCOSTS, BENEFITS

However, some said those savings are not worth losing a vital part of the staff. One Nampa custodian pointed out that the district would have to pay unemployment costs.

.. And I'm wondering if the district has given any consideration as to the direct financial impact it would have for the 74 employees you are considering eliminating their jobs -- to file for unemployment benefits, said Custodian Greg Stevens.

The contracting company that also cleans for Micron, CGA, has promised to hire back the custodians at comparable wages.

Another major concern by the custodians is losing benefits from a retirement plan for those long time employees. However, CGA said it would match those benefits after a year. The Nampa School District reports taht over 90% of its custodians have been employed 10 years or less.

The district says furloughs and pay cuts are still possible for current staff. The board will also take up a consideration to contract nutrition services at its May 7th meeting.

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